The connective tissues which attach the muscles with the bones are known as tendons. Stretching of the muscles and movement of the joints is possible because of these tendons. During the process of aging, tendons lose their elasticity due to wear and tear and become inflammed. This condition is called tendonitis.
Tendonitis is a painful condition which restricts the movement of the affected part of the body. As tendons are present throughout the body, this condition can affect different parts of the body like heels, hands, ankles, elbows, shoulder, feet, etc. Achilles tendonitis is a very common type of tendonitis. Acute tendonitis occurs suddenly due to some temporary reason and can be cured within a few days with the help of proper medications and exercises.
Chronic or recurring tendonitis can be an unpleasant situation. The elderly are at a higher risk of developing this condition. Excessive wear and tear weakens the tendons and makes them more prone to injuries, which in turn lead to this condition. A tendon injury can also lead to this condition. As the tendons tear or break, a scar tissue is formed which is not as flexible as the tendon. Use of the injured part can therefore lead to inflammation and pain. Some other causes of this condition are:
- Wear and tear of the tendons
- Repetitive motion like the one seen in athletes
- Injuries to the tendons
- Wrong way of exercising
- Wrong posture
- Excessive stretching of the muscle
- Strain, overexercise, or excessive pressure on the tendons
- Sprain or muscle cramps
- When pressure is applied on the tendon during any physical activity pain is experienced. For instance while lifting weights, playing tennis, jumping, working with your hands, or any type of manual job pain develops.
- Restricted movement of the affected area
- Pain when the joint is moved or touched
- In some cases, burning sensation around the affected area is also observed.
- The affected area may appear reddened, swollen, warm, and/or lumpy. Fluid accumulation in the affected area can cause inflammation.
- Restricted movement without pain
- Muscle pain, stiffness, and swelling in the affected area
- Severe pain at night and in the morning
- Pain during and after movement of the affected area
- Doctors may recommend physical therapy to improve the movement of the affected area.
- Massage with sesame oil, olive oil, or mustard oil can help relieve pain and also improve the movement.
- Over-the-counter pain killers may be prescribed by the doctor.
- Sufficient rest to the injured area is essential to speed up the recovery process.
- Ice packs or cold packs can also be applied, as they help reduce the pain.
- Stretching exercises should be performed under the guidance of a fitness trainer.
- Surgical treatments are also available these days, if none of the above treatments work.
- Wear a splint or a brace, like knee brace, wrist brace, or ankle brace to restrict the movement of the injured tendon. It helps prevent further straining of the tendon and thus keeps the swelling and pain under check.
As you always use all the parts of the body, they never get a chance to heal. This leads to the development of chronic tendonitis. To avoid this condition, constant and repetitive strain on the tendons should be avoided. Those who don't follow warm up exercises before exercising are more likely to develop this condition. In extremely severe tendonitis, doctors may inject cortisone into the affected area for instant relief. But there are some risks associated with this treatment. It can weaken the immune system. Also, surgery can be performed if none of the aforementioned treatment options provide relief.